HOW TO WEDDING
THE GUIDE TO PLANNING A (KICK-ASS) WEDDING CELEBRATION
Start with three simple questions
At this moment, I'm guessing that you are probably caught up in the excitement and the jitters of planning your own wedding. Yet, at the same time, you’re probably feeling a little overwhelmed with the process, or perhaps even clueless as to where you should begin.
I know, because my wife and I were in the exact same position a while back and I totally understand what you are going through. What you are reading now is the compilation of the lessons we learned during our own wedding planning process, plus answers to the questions I normally get from couples when planning their wedding.
At the end of this, I hope that you've accumulated the knowledge and tools to plan a wedding that is TOTALLY YOURS to enjoy and fully experience.
1 ) Why are you holding this wedding?
2 ) Who are the people you want to spend it with the most?
3 ) How will you like to experience your wedding day?
TIPS TO PLAN A KICKASS WEDDING
2. Choosing your Vendors
1. LIST and prioritiZe
List down all of your favourite things (eg. drinks, food, music, hobbies, clothes, places- basically everything at this point in time)
From that huge list, circle out the ones that are important enough to you to include in the wedding, then prioritize them with numbers.
Next, write down what you will like to experience at your wedding to have a night you'll want to repeat over and over again - some examples can be the table styling and decor, thoughtful wedding favours, music for various segments of the wedding, games, and the type of venue.
Don't be judgemental, just write everything down
Circle out and prioritize the most important ones.
This is your first step to personalizing your wedding.
Now, that you have your list, it's time to do some power research.
Instagram and wedding blogs are the best places to find vendors but remember - it is a huge world and you'll be pulled in many directions - be sure to hold on to your initial values and priorities.
THIS IS IMPORTANT:
When shortlisting vendors, it's crucial that you select someone whose personality and values are in line with yours. You are going to be spending the entire day together, so make sure you get along!
For example, if you cherish real and honest moments, then you'll probably want to look for a photographer and videographer who doesn't stage or pose each shot, but let the moments unfold naturally instead.
3. Start Planning Early
4. Plan your day like a movie
Think of your wedding day as a movie, with slower scenes to set the pace and the mood, while slowly building up to a climax.
For most people, the ceremony is the most important part of the wedding and with good reason!
Hence, it'll be wise to start the day off slower. Perhaps consider doing a first look somewhere else so that you can spend some quiet time together. If words are your thing, exchanging letters will be so much more meaningful than a sweaty gate crash.
Having a slower morning will help get your emotions in order when it's time to get married. When you have the time and space to reflect and ready yourself for the vows, you'll be able to fully immerse in the experience.
After the ceremony will be the right time to have fun things that involve a lot of people and will pull your focus all over the place.
Popular venues and vendors get booked out a year or more in advance. If they are on your consideration list, chances are they are on someone else’s list as well.
If there is some place or someone whom you really want for your wedding day, get in touch early to avoid the frantic search for a similar replacement later on.
On the day itself, remember to factor in ample buffer time for every segment of the day, including make-up, ceremony, and between dinner programs - having more time between programs and not crunching everything together will allow you to enjoy the day better.
You have an entire day, why rush?
7. Time for Portraits
6. Writing your vows early
It's easy to fail into the trap of thinking you have heaps of time till the wedding and leaving vows to the last minute.
There is a high chance though, that you'll be feeling too nervous or caught up with organizing the wedding to properly get in tune with your feelings and what you would like to say.
Tip: Whenever you think of something you would like to include, write it down in your notes so that you can come back to it later.
Spend a quiet afternoon 3~4 months before the wedding to reflect on your relationship and your future marriage, and write the vows that mean something to you.
Family portraits, while not the most creative time of the day, is very important to most of the family, friends and wedding guests. I do family/group portraits at every wedding. Most of the time it's a very short list, with the most nuclear family involved, plus the wedding party.
The best time for family and bridal party portraits is after the ceremony. Everyone is ready to go and no one will miss any cocktail hour or reception time. If we're taking just a handful of shots (parents, immediate family, wedding party) then about 20 mins is plenty of time. I recommend keeping the list short because on your wedding day smiling at the camera posed with tons of different groups will get tiring!
For couple portraits, I recommend two portrait time slots for portraits of just you two together: right after the family portrait for 60 mins, and at sunset for about 20 minutes. Why? Because the pressure is off, and you're ecstatic, in love, and ready to party. I've gotten some of the best, most genuine joyful moments at this time. Why before sunset? Because it's when we get the best light, At sunset, we'll get great golden light and right after the sun disappears we'll get some of the best moody light which I love to shoot. If your ceremony is later in the day, close to sunset, we will just merge these two into one, for about 60 mins total.
The most important thing to ensure we get great photos is trust. If you trust me to create the photos you'll love, I'll be able to do my thing and guide and direct you well. It's all about collaboration and trust!
8. Have an unplugged wedding
Everyone is excited and gathered here to witness the both of you tie the knot.
So please don't have them experience it through their phones and camera. Wouldn't it be great to have them all fully present?
Having an unplugged wedding allows you to see the expression on your parent's and friends' faces. Plus, it also meant that you won't have anyone blocking the aisle with their phones and potentially losing precious photographic moments.
Write it down in your invite, or get the officiant to announce it before the ceremony.
10. MAKE SURE YOUR Lighting Game IS On
9. Fun and games
Spice up your wedding by getting the crowd involved.
The possibilities are endless but some easy examples are having confetti or sparkler exits, games, father-daughter dances.
It also always pays to have a great band or DJ to get the dance floor going and end the night with a bang.
This is one of the most important aspects of the day. Most venues tend to have very dim lighting which makes it a challenge to produce nice photos - there is a higher chance of the photographs turning out saturated and grainy. Check with the manager to see if there is a possibility to turn up the lights, even if just a little, so that you can still maintain the ambience and have great photographs.
Ceremonies in nature are my favourite: the setting, the light, and the freedom to shoot all around. For outdoor ceremonies, light and sun are super important factors in the photos. Spotty sunlight and harsh uneven light are not ideal. So if you're having your ceremony close to midday, try to always backlight yourselves. This means, try to set up the ceremony so that the sun is behind your officiant, so you two are backlit, evenly. You could also plan your ceremony later in the day, so the light is nicer and closer to sunset. Just be sure to leave enough time for any delays, as well as couple portraits around sunset.
Your wedding day
My way of photography
What I enjoy the most is getting to know my couples on a personal level.
When I’m documenting your wedding, I’m there as a close friend and a quiet confidant; to experience the roller coaster ride of emotions with you and to document every tear and every laughter.
The way I photograph is relaxed yet personal. It is important that the photographs reflect who you are.
Every relationship is unique, and every wedding is different - all I’m trying to do is to pursue and create that sense of honesty and realness in the images I take.
After all, the photographs from your wedding have to mean so much more to you than just being a pretty picture.
Imagine all the people who are close to your heart, all gathered together in one place on one day to celebrate your love for each other.
That excitement when friends reunite and get caught up in nostalgic chatter, the tears of joy and huge bear hugs going around all day long.
Witnessing them reacting to the heartfelt speeches, and then letting loose on the dance floor afterwards.
Feeling the overwhelming emotions and sense of gratitude towards your parents and the quiet, in-between moments of unspeakable volumes.
All of these little moments are the reason why you need to prioritize and plan your day around the things that are truly important to you.